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Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Gouge This!

All right, everyone repeat: There is no such thing as 'price gouging.' There is no such thing as 'price gouging.'

First of all, what's wrong with asking whatever price strikes one's fancy for a good one owns? If a gas station wants to ask $1,000,000 a gallon for regular, isn't that its right as the owner of the gas?

Secondly, if gas stations or oil compannies or whoever can "ignore supply and demand" and still sell their product at a price set by their whim, then why in the world would they wait for a crisis to raise prices? Why didn't they raise them to $3.40 a year ago, or ten years ago? Are the managers so stupid that they don't realize a crisis is the worst time for them to raise prices, since everyone will shout about gouging?!

The whole concept of gouging is complete rubbish.

4 comments:

  1. I've often wondered why so many of the same people are happy to make the "gouging" accusation, and yet are willing ... no, happy ... no, positively boastful about doing their own price-"gouging" in the real estate market. You know, like the almost-retired aerospace engineer in Southern California who never gets tired of telling you, "Why, I moved to the Valley in 1963 and I bought my house for $18,000 ... and today, I can sell it for FIVE MILLION GAJILLION DOLLARS!" But don't suggest to them that a filling station owner might be permitted to sell his commodity at the market price ... no, sir!

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  2. The trailer park situation in florida is interesting.

    Many moons ago, in the age of the beach bum and the fishing village, waterfront parcels were cheap enough to be put to use for trailer parks. The way it worked is an entity bought the dirt and leased a slice to somebody who would park an aluminum framed dump upon it.

    After FEMA popularized waterfront, the highest and best use of these trailer park parcels changed. In appraisiology "highest and best" means physically possible, legally permitted, financially feasible and maximally productive. (In florida they talk mere gajillions, none of them have five million gajillions) So the heirs of the dirt kings are deciding that their dirt is better employed farming townhouse condos than trailer trash...

    Lo and behold the leaseholders are members of the AARP, and they will create a political stink! They fought back the communists, ya know? You can't just charge more for the land than the tenants can afford, lest you be branded a gouger and opporunist. Though a capitalist is an opportunist by nature, it appears that maximizing behavior is looked up as criminal by the generation that "fought communism".

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  3. Those waterfront owners need to contact the group linked to in my latest post.

    Woody, by the way, shoot me an e-mail -- I'll respond in a way that skirts the Yahoo! problem.

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